Great Lakes Council – Natural Systems Team Workshop, May 2016

Thank you Siwan, it was great to spend a couple of days with you, your stories were inspiring and the practical tools we are now armed with are so valuable.  

Prue Tucker (participant)

I would say that the two days we spent together helped our team to gain clarity and revived our sense of purpose. We became closer as a team, felt empowered, and came away with many tools that will help us enormously to face and embrace the challenges and opportunities ahead.  

Helen Kemp (participant)

ARRC Monthly Email Newsletter,  March 2016

Hi Siwan,  I really enjoyed the gratitude video, it really made me think….  Also I’m just generally really impressed with the ARRC newsletter, there is so much enthusiasm and warmth in it, I think the presentation and content is great and I am so impressed that it is just one of the many interesting and innovative things you do in your work so good on you, I am proud of you!!  🙂

my lovely brother Richard

Victorian Environmental Water Holder – Workshop Facilitation, Feb 2016

Hi Siwan,
Thanks so much for your wonderful facilitation yesterday. We are feeling energised and excited about everything that emerged yesterday and accompanying our gang of stakeholders on a long journey over the next few years.  Don’t be a stranger!

Victoria Penko

Commonwealth Environment Water Holder – Workshop Facilitation, Feb 2016

I was very happy with how the workshop went, and we valued the key role you played in the workshop going so well. I walked away feeling people are positive about the project and that it is/will be useful and relevant. What I got out of it personally was a greater connection with the water managers and it is a connection I want to continue to build throughout all levels of the project so that we all continue to network and communicate with each other without it being something we do because have too. Once again thank you, the workshop last week has provided a really positive start to the EWKR Bus journey! 

Nadia Kingham

Dear Siwan,  I just want to thank you for the excellent job you did facilitating out JRG workshop.  I really appreciated the work you did prior to the workshop.  During the workshop you unobtrusively kept us on track, and I liked the closing activity of developing a story. 

                         Ben Gawne

Waterway Management Twinning Program 2015-2016, August 2015- July 2016

“I really enjoyed the twining program last week.  You are a fabulous facilitator. I have heard so many stories about how wonderful you are. All proven true. I particularly enjoyed the session about using story. So far this week, I’ve applied learnings about the golden circle, the 5 Ps and the story spine. So helpful! My reflection journal is getting a workout – trying to stay in the right mind frame using the 3 stars and a wish.”

Renae Ayers

I just wanted to thank you again for your input to last week’s workshop, I’ve had such good response from everyone. My head was buzzing all weekend with ideas for the Merri R, I’m really hoping that the Twinning Program can generate some meaningful change on that waterway, and others!!

Lucy Cameron

Feeling Fishy Field Day on the Yass River 2015, November 2015

“Thank you for a very informative day.

I now have 60+ Carp Gudgeon in 2 newly created ponds in my Macgregor (ACT) back yard with lots of insects etc, already coming to inspect – and I am now on the lookout for a property in the Murray Darling Catchment that has a “bald” creek or a  creek with willows to be removed.  It may not be in the Yass catchment but I will certainly take away from the field day what is needed to create a healthy riparian zone on any waterway that passes through any property I move to.”

 Greg Folkard

Siwan , I would like to thank you for the tremendous day enjoyed by all last Sunday , the amount of work that went into it is a credit to you and your organisation , everyone I’ve spoken to thoroughly enjoyed the day.  If there is anything I can do in the future to help don’t hesitate to ask . Your in Rivers ( Especially Yass River ! )  

Ross Webster

More on the Feeling Fishy Day can be found here as well as a film that was made of the day.

Peter Cullen Trust 2015, November 2015

 I really valued Siwan’s considered and insightful feedback. It was also the way she delivered it – it was warm, honest and personal,  I also really enjoyed her company and the way she connected with people and really listened.

Daniel Garlick


I felt very safe knowing she was there to provide honest yet caring feedback and insight throughout the process,  I also appreciated how she was quite open about when she was feeling vulnerable as this is something I need to learn to do.

Kim Markwell

Siwan was always very respectful with her feedback and considered.  She managed her frustrations well – I could tell by her hand movements she was frustrated at our initial contract, but her feedback was delivered in a measured voice – and it was only the day after she expressed her immense frustrations with our initial attempt.  She brought fun, joy, energy and laughter to the group, which improved spirits.  Good open-ended questioning of us in our reflection sessions.

Hannah Pexton

RipRap 38 – Australia’s Northern Rivers & Estuaries 2015, August 2015

“I found RipRap magazine very informative and extraordinarily presented with superb photographs and maps. For someone like me not living in the area but that greatly appreciates aquatic environments, reading RipRap really makes getting to know what’s going on up in the Northern Rivers not only quite enjoyable but also gives you hope that there’s lots of efforts put into knowing and looking at sustainably co-exist with the river systems. In this latest number I found very interesting the article on eDNA because it really opens another dimension of posibilities for its application, in particular as not all consultancies and local councils have staff with significant experience to identify local and introduced fauna. Hence, the development of eDNA will really help to put in place rapid assessment protocols and give another option for enhancing waterway quality assessments. I’m looking forward to read in further RipRap numbers the diversified applications that the eDNA markers will be used on.”

Dr. Adriana Corona Mothe, Ecology Society of Australia

“Fascinating to read about the fish and aquatic plants living in our tropical rivers.”

 Scott Wilkinson, CSIRO

 Peter Cullen Trust – 2014

“You might remember, at the Peter Cullen Trust get-together last year, I said how I’d been nominated to be on the board of the Burnett Mary Regional Group. Well I was elected. I was pretty surprised I have to say.

We’ve had a couple of board meetings and last week a strategic planning meeting. I wanted to say a huge thank you to you because the presentations you have given to PCT events have been a really big influence on how I have approached the meetings. In particular that concept of starting with why is something that has been very powerful. I think the group has lost track of the why in a lot of ways and because of the discussion you’ve facilitated and videos you’ve shown about this, I feel confident to raise questions about the why. I hope it has started to shift things a bit and help people feel more inspired. So thank you very very much for providing me with such a simple and yet powerful way of expressing something so important!”

Dr Tanzi Smith, Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee 2014

RipRap Magazine

“A great read with lots of positive stories of environmental improvement.”

 David Freudenberger

“RipRap offers a bright, easy-to-read update on the science of various  riverine topics- great for scientists, great for managers!”

 John Koehn, (Arthur Rylah Institute, Victoria)

The ARRC Newsletter

“Dear Siwan & the ARRC Team – love your work. You deliver a dose of inspiration with every newsletter.”

Damian McRae (Commonwealth Environmental Water Office)

“Thanks for the terrific work you are doing.”

Michael Noble (Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment)

Executive Coaching – Siwan Lovett

“When my employer initiated my coaching with Siwan I wasn’t sure what to expect, at the time we were going through a large business transition and facing a great deal of uncertainty.  Siwan has helped bring a better level of clarity to my goals and values, not just in regards to work but in my personal life as well.I look forward to my coaching sessions with  Siwan, she always displays a great deal of understanding, warmth and humour to any situation, and I regularly finish my sessions feeling self-assured and reinvigorated to pursue my goals.I continue to find the coaching experience very rewarding and would personally recommend Siwan as the ideal partner for anyone looking to pursue their goals with clarity and motivation.”

Nicholas Proudman, (Financial Planner, Conscious Money)

Peter Cullen Trust – Workshop for Fellows  (Nov 15th 2012)

“Siwan Lovett from the Australian River Restoration Centre led a very entertaining and informative session for PCT Fellows who had returned to Canberra for the graduation of the Class of 2012. Demonstrating the power of story-telling, Siwan got the Fellows thinking about why the PCT exists and what we believe as Fellows. Using a combination of humour, Youtube, anecdotes and group break-outs, Siwan’s work, underpinned by proven theories and techniques, reinforced the importance of building upon the Fellow’s key strength – a national network of leaders in natural resource management.”

Chris Arnott, (Director, Aither Consulting and PCT Fellow).

Peter Cullen Trust – Critical Friend (Nov 13 2012)

“Thank you for being a critical friend to the 2012 PCT cohort – I know it added significant value and was greatly appreciated.”

Leith Boully, (PCT Program Leader)

True Tales of the Trout Cod: videos, booklets, website (June 2011-Sept 2012)

“Just wanted to let you know – the NFS team recently won a significant achievement award at the MDBA 2013 Australia Day Awards. This was for “excellence in community engagement including the diversity and quality of communication products and fostering of native fish issues in theBasin Community”. You and your team have played a very large part in this success– so well done you, Nerida, Will, Melissa, Richard and Allison! So very pleased to be working with such skilled people. The team award is very much a reflection of your efforts.”

Best wishes,  Janet and the NFS team

“You  and the team are probably one of the best group of people  I have ever had to work with.”

Heleena Bamford,  (Native Fish Strategy Team, Murray Darling Basin Authority)

Greening Australia – Science Communication Workshops

“The two days of  training with the talented Siwan was superbly helpful.  Contrasting the stereotypical  low-levels of industry workplace communication, Siwan’s workshops encouraged cooperative and effective communication with entertaining engagement. The story spine was a practical and suitable tool that I have since used. ‘The Story of the Glossy Black Cockatoos’ is now in prime position in one of our partner’s shopfronts! If I ever need a refresher of Siwan’s course, I look for the bright-coloured folder that stands out in a plethora of manila. Thank you Siwan for brightening up my life! 

Simon Moore (Greening Australia Capital Region)

When I’m not involved with revegetation and conservation through GA, I’m a mad keen fisherman and fishing writer, see No sooner had I drafted an article complete with photos and captions, when I realised it read like a fishing textbook.  I googled the Story Spine after hearing about it during the workshops and went about re-writing the article with a more personal touch.”

Graham Fifield, (Greening Australia Capital Region)

Healthy Waterways Symposium, Mackay (June 2012)

“Siwan travelled to Mackay, Central Queensland earlier this year as our keynote speaker at CQUniversity for the Healthy Waterways Symposium Mackay Whitsunday Isaac.  In a speakers program of presentations loaded with science and data, research and on-ground outcomes, Siwan’s talk shone a different light on how we can approach landscape management.  Siwan has a gift to re-ignite inspiration and remind us all that the power of resource management comes from people.”

Sal Gray, (Healthy Waterways Coordinator, Reef Catchments Ltd)

Examination of Science and Knowledge Needs for the Basin Plan (Murray-Darling Basin Authority, December 2011-March 2012)

“Siwan and Phil demonstrated a sound understanding of the science issues relevant to Basin Plan development. Between them, they possess a wealth of knowledge on the current and past investments in research that have application for implementing and adapting the Basin Plan. They understand the water world very well at the national scale and are extremely well networked with researchers, catchment management authorities and the government agencies at state and federal levels.  This breadth of knowledge, combined with excellent group facilitation skills,  project management skills and communication skills allowed them to deliver an investigative project on time and within budget.”

Nadeem Samnakay, (Murray Darling Basin Authority).

Looking Back…… Thinking Forward – Sydney Catchment Forum (Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority, December 2011-March 2012)

“The Sydney Metropolitan CMA’s 2012 Community Forum was a great success thanks to Siwan’s inspiring key note address “Connections that Count: People, Place and Passion” and her work in helping plan and facilitate the event. The event was attended by 90 environmental volunteers from across the whole Sydney region who enthusiastically participated in the day. Siwan worked closely with our Forum planning team for several months to develop an integrated Forum program. Her presentation set the scene for two interactive sessions that engaged 90 members of the community in priority setting, followed by the groups being facilitated to develop aspirational stories of action. Prior to the Forum Siwan also ran a short session for CMA staff with tips on how to facilitate groups and what to expect from the process. Feedback from volunteer participants was enthusiastic:

“Well organised and enjoyable Forum. especially Siwan’s input.”“I particularly enjoyed the different slant put forward by Dr Lovett.” ”We worked hard!!! But it was excellent” ”Particularly liked the talk by Dr Lovett. Very apt” “This year was as good as could be”.

We appreciated working with a thorough and experienced professional and would wholeheartedly recommend Siwan to contribute to workshops where the aim is for participants to understand why they do what they do, and to leave feeling valued and empowered. With Siwan’s encouragement we are all striving to be happy ‘yellow’ people and will continue to spread this positive attitude among our environmental volunteering networks.”

Nicola Dixon, Judy Christie, Jeanie Muspratt, (Sydney Metropolitan CMA)

Provision of community engagement and knowledge sharing advice – Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA (June 22 2011)

“Our organisation had a series of community workshops scheduled to ask for input into a new regional plan. We really needed to get some guidance on how we should conduct the meetings to get the best value for everyone. After spending a few hours with Siwan, we gained heaps of strategies and ideas for the workshops, and we now feel confident that they will be enjoyable and everyone will benefit. It has helped us bring together our plans and to feel that we have greater control over what we will get from the workshops.”

Wendy Miller, (Community Engagement Team, Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA)

Provision of social network analysis, anecdote circles and sensemaking to analyse and improve knowledge sharing and communication throughout the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority (May 2011, Cowra, Grenfell, Temora)

“Following our work with Siwan and Nerida, a number of initiatives are being implemented. For example, we are rethinking how to use the extranet, developing a staff newsletter, providing shared meeting summaries, and developing a training knowledge strategy. Succession planning is being covered by engaging a film crew to video the staff who will be retiring soon, this should capture a vast array of knowledge on the catchment which stands to be lost otherwise. Reviewing workplans is one of the large projects which is being developed top include more knowledge sharing, these changes are currently going through the formal processes to get adopted and implemented organisation wide.

Thank you so much for all your input we have had a lot of success, I think it will be important to capture the momentum and keep the encouragement going for all staff.”

Emma Thomas, (Acting Business Manager Investments, Lachlan CMA)

Connecting through Conversation / Communication and Creativity Workshops (November 15 – 16 2010, Longreach)

“Thanks again for the very engaging and inspiring workshop. Yours and Nerida’s passion and enthusiasm for your work is infectious and my exposure to it has come at an opportune time for me – it has been a long and tiring year; you have given me the boost I need to see me through” Mark Kleinschmidt(Commercial Services Manager, Desert Channel Solutions)

Thanks to Siwan and Nerida for delivering a well-paced and entertaining workshop. There was a great balance of learning and doing, listening and looking, and seriousness and humour. The material can be applied to so many areas of work and life that it is invaluable to anyone who wants to improve their understanding of communication and creativity. I would thoroughly recommend you take the opportunity to open the door to new possibilities through this workshop.”

Jeff Poole, (Indigenous Engagement Officer, Desert Channels Queensland Inc)

CSIRO Stream Leaders Workshop (November 8-9 November 2010, Canberra)

“Siwan, Nerida and team did a marvellous job conducting a leadership meeting for our researchers. They put together an inspirational program, planned it all well, and did some very useful background investigations. The highlight was the session on some new ideas on institutional organisation and leadership styles, bringing in a creative spirit and skilled presenter who kept us captivated. I am sure the lessons from the workshop will last with our group for the rest of their lives.”

Ian Prosser, (Science Director, CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship)

Connecting through Conversations: narrative techniques for organisational knowledge sharing (October 20 2010, Canberra)

“The Connecting the Conversations workshop clearly highlighted the benefits of using narrative techniques for communication and evaluation, and provided a great ‘taster’ of a number of different techniques. Siwan, Nerida and Matt are skilled facilitators and passionately, energetically and generously shared their extensive skills and experience throughout the workshop.’ Clare Irwin (Environment Assessment Branch, Approvals & Wildlife Division, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population & Communities)

The ARRC team struck a perfect balance in this workshop – they expertly walked us through the why, the what and the how of engaging people in meaningful conversation. I think it worked really well to showcase a range of techniques and resources and allow us to ‘try them out’ and then to provide free materials and links on the Regional Knowledge Resource Kit as a means for people to delve into the details of the techniques they found most useful.”

Rebecca Arnold, (South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board)

Tailored knowledge leader training (28-29 April 2010, Canberra)

“I thoroughly enjoyed ARRC’s knowledge sharing workshop – I learned many new and practical ways to share knowledge. I was surprised at the number of new techniques, approaches and tools available. I was impressed by the facilitation, and the high level of support provided by ARRC following the workshop. I would recommend this workshop to others.” Natalie Baker (Program Manager, International Riverfoundation)

The knowledge workshop I attended in April 2010 was a real eye-opener for me. In particular, I have introduced some new communication techniques into my organization such as wikis (I use Google Groups), communities of practice (I’ve joined LinkedIn) and we’re still working towards setting up some internal ones. We have also introduced the “Rewards & Recognition” approach and at our Christmas BBQ this year, we’ll be handing out the first rewards for participation in our new Innovation Project. In our staff newsletter we now have a special section to recognize those employees that have done something unusual or innovative. The KM methods cards have been a great resource to have as it allows you to just drop a few cards on someone’s desk when they’re looking for a change in the way they approach their team or just to quickly read up on a method, approach or tool. I haven’t yet started to formalise our KM Strategy, but I’ve come a long way in convincing my colleagues of the merits of many of the tools that will eventually be included in our Strategy.”

Sigrid Tijs, (R&D Coordinator, Murrumbidgee Irrigation)